Time to sell your home? Here are 3 questions to ask yourself


As someone deeply involved in the real estate industry for decades, I understand that selling your home isn’t just a financial transaction; it’s a significant life decision. 

That’s why, before you decide to put that “For Sale” sign in your yard, it’s crucial to ask yourself a few key questions. These questions will not only help you clarify your motivations but also ensure that you’re making a decision that aligns with your long-term goals and financial well-being.

Question One: Why are you selling – and why now?

The first question you need to ask yourself is why you’re considering selling your home and why now is the right time to do so. For many, this decision stems from a variety of factors, ranging from dissatisfaction with their current location to financial considerations.

A house is for sale in Arlington, Virginia

A house for sale in Arlington, Virginia, July 13, 2023. (Saul Loeb/AFP via / Getty Images)

In recent years, we’ve seen a significant trend of people leaving certain areas of the country, such as California and New York, for various reasons. Some are seeking relief from high taxes, while others are fleeing natural disasters like wildfires or floods. 

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If you find yourself in a similar situation, where you no longer feel comfortable or satisfied with your current location, it might be time to consider selling your home.

However, at the same time, it’s important to consider not only why you want to leave but also where you want to go. Research potential destinations thoroughly, considering factors like climate, cost of living and quality of life amenities. If you have a family, delve into details about the local school district and community resources to ensure they align with your values and priorities.

Moreover, it’s crucial to make this decision rationally, not just emotionally. While our hearts often drive big decisions like selling a home, take time to weigh the financial implications. In today’s market, where inventory is low and interest rates are rising, you may find yourself facing higher costs if you move to a more expensive property. 

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Consider alternatives like remodeling or adding on to your current home, which may offer a more financially prudent solution.

Question Two: Can you afford to sell and buy again?

Once you’ve clarified your motivations for selling, the next question to ask yourself is whether you can afford to sell your current home and purchase a new one. This involves considering not only the potential profit from selling but also the costs associated with buying a new property.

Factor in overlooked expenses real estate agent commissions and closing and moving costs when calculating your potential proceeds from selling your home. Additionally, consider how much you’ll need for a down payment on a new property and whether you’ll qualify for a mortgage at favorable terms.

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If you find that the costs of selling and buying again are prohibitive, explore alternatives like refinancing or taking out a home equity line of credit to fund renovations or upgrades to your current home. This approach allows you to improve your living situation without incurring the significant costs associated with moving.

Question Three: What are your long-term goals?

Finally, before deciding to sell your home, consider your long-term goals and how they align with your housing choices. Are you looking for a property that will appreciate in value over time? Do you want a home that can accommodate your family’s changing needs as they grow?

Understanding your long-term goals can help guide your decision-making process when it comes to selling your home. If you’re looking for a property with better appreciation potential, you may need to prioritize location and market trends when searching for a new home. 

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On the other hand, if your primary goal is to find a property that meets your family’s needs for the foreseeable future, you may focus more on factors like size, layout and amenities.

Ultimately, the decision to sell your home is a significant one that requires careful consideration of your motivations, financial situation and long-term goals. By asking yourself these three key questions and taking a rational, practical approach to the decision-making process, you can ensure that you’re making the right choice for yourself and your family.

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